Tag Archives: Christmas

SB. SJ. Big Sur. SLO.

31 Dec

I finished my journal. I have written 1825 sentences of gratitude for the last 5 years. I’m really proud of myself. When I look back through the journal I can’t help but get happy tears in the corners of my eyes. The last five years have brought so much joy and it’s all documented. Having a gratitude journal has completely changed my outlook in life. Without a shadow of a doubt I can say that I see the world differently now. Life is most beautiful when it is imperfect.

The last month of my journal was spent enjoying the holidays despite having the plague. My Husband (I still can’t believe I have one of those) and I traveled to Santa Barbara, San Jose, Big Sur, and SLO over Christmas.

I leave you with a grateful Hart. Thank you for joining me in my journey the last five years. It meant a lot.

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730 Sentences

31 Dec

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Yesterday morning I backed out of my garage and ripped my passenger side mirror right off my car. If this has happened two years ago I would have been super pissed off. Yes, it was a stupid move but its 100% fixable. If that was the biggest problem I was going to have all day, I was doing pretty good. It’s not a big deal. There was a time in my life that this would have been. There was a time this would have taken me to a very unhappy place.

My happiness project is just that, a PROJECT. This didn’t start because I am naturally a happy go lucky gal. It started because I was exactly the opposite. I was great at acting like everything was amazing when deep down I was troubled. Being miserable isn’t a way to live life. Filling my heart with gratitude has been a game changer. When life gives me lemons I now make lemonade instead of bitching about the lemons.

Shortly after demolishing my side mirror a good friend texted me that she needed a favor because she had to leave town unexpectedly due to the passing of her Grandfather. As I slid into my car in route to her, my side mirror never seemed more unimportant. Doing something to bring a smile to my friend’s pretty face did. Spreading love is the most important thing we will ever do. That’s what my happiness project is built on.

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2014 has been a great year. As I looked back on the last few months I couldn’t help but smile. There have been so many wonderful moments that I want to highlight before the ball drops and we ring in 2015. I have written 730 sentences in my journal so far. Thank you for being a part of it.

Compressed Work Weeks

I have noted this before in a previous blog but it has been such a game changer I feel the need to give it a shout out once more. gap intelligence adopted a compressed work week and it has made my work week simply delightful. We work 9 hour days Monday through Thursday and a half day on Friday. Having more time to enjoy the weekends has been gaptastic.

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Retirement

Hartman’s Mom retired from a long and happy career as a nurse this year. We flew to Northern California to celebrate this fabulous milestone. It was a joy to meet everyone she has worked with. The party was lovely and I am so glad we made the journey to celebrate.

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BRAVO

My Big Brother’s best friend married the love of his life at the end of September. Hartman and I flew to San Jose to witness them say, “I do”. My Brother has been friends with the same group of hilarious guys since high school. When they get together constant laughter ensues. We danced like our lives depended on it. My Mom and Step Dad attended as well despite my Step Dad’s severe jet lag. It was so much fun laughing at all the silly speeches as everyone wished the happy couple well.

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Tini Gets Married

My college Bestie, Tini, married her best friend mid-October. This wedding was more like a Broadway production. Between them marrying themselves, multiple choreographed dances, a flash mob, and comical MC-ing by the world’s greatest DJ, this wedding was beyond entertaining. I was sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. We stopped in Malibu on the way home to cap off a spectacular weekend.

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Five Year gapiversary

I celebrated my 5 year anniversary at gap intelligence in October. I love my job and am so grateful that my friend recommended me. I had no experience when they hired me. They took a chance on me and I am so glad they did. I am proud to be a gapper.

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Marco Polo

Hartman’s college Bestie came to SD for a visit. His visit overlapped with the Giant’s World Series run. The boys got into their typical shenanigans. They went fishing and ate lots of Mexican food. I love watching them pal around together. Marco is a riot. His energy lights up the room. He will be traveling most of 2015 so I made sure to appreciate time with him this year.

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Three Rings

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. When Pablo Sandoval made the final out I burst into happy tears. I love my GIGANTES and watching them bring home ring number three was incredible. My Nephew, Peyton, was a Giants player for Halloween. My family bleeds orange and black.

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Nine Years

Hartman and I celebrated 9 years of dating on November 1st. We had a quiet night out in honor of us. We checked out a new restaurant in Little Italy. Reminiscing with my guy always brings a smile to my heart.

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Friendsgiving

Before the holiday madness began my friends and I decided to have our own Thanksgiving dinner. Nearly all of the dishes included bacon. Bacon makes the world a better place. There was way too much food and we had waaaaaaaay too much fun. There is nothing like a dance party with an almost two year old to make the night complete.

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Thanksgiving

Hartman and I celebrated the official Thanksgiving holiday with my Dad and Step Mom’s family in Santa Maria this year. We snuck in a Santa Barbara adventure as well since we were so close. Winetasting with my family was one of the highlights of the trip. The “kids” cooked dinner. Please note that us “kids” are all in our thirties now. It doesn’t matter how old we get, we will always be the kids. It was an honor to spoil my Grandma and cook a delicious feast for her. The meal was flawless.

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December Nights

The first weekend in December in San Diego is always a big deal because Balboa Park hosts a huge Christmas festival. We live a short ten minute walk from Balboa Park so we always make a point to attend every year. It gets us in the holiday spirit. Santa was even in attendance.

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Rookie of the Year

Both Hartman and my work holiday parties were scheduled on the same night unfortunately. Since we were double booked we had to attended our parties solo. Hartman texted me half way through the night with the exciting news that he had won Rookie of the Year. I am so proud of him. To be recognized by his colleagues is so special.

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Baby Sprinkle

My dear friend, Ro, is expecting a baby in early January. I agreed to help my bestie, Smalls, throw a light shower for her, AKA a Sprinkle. After spending a week prepping for the event I came down with the flu and was unable to attend. It made me feel good that the little touches were appreciated even if I wasn’t able to witness her smile in person.

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The Flu

Being sick is awful. I got the flu and an upper respiratory infection at the same time. I had to miss work. I was so sick that I didn’t even have the energy to change the channel. I watched whatever was on TBS. While quarantined in my house trying to recover I felt so much gratitude for the gappers the covered for me while I was out and for my boyfriend that took excellent care of me.

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Mags is Engaged

I hate talking on the phone. It’s just not my thang. My friends know I’d rather text or Facebook than chat on my cell. When my college Bestie called me at 10pm at night I first had to register that my ring tone is hella outdated. I got a little panicked because Mags never calls me. When I picked up the phone I could tell from the tone of her voice that she was calling to deliver happy news. Her amazing boyfriend had popped the questions and she said, “yes”. They are perfect for each other. I can’t wait for the bridal showers, bachelorette party, and of course the wedding. She is going to be a sensational bride.

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Christmas with Rosco

We spent Christmas with Hartman’s family in Lake Tahoe this year. It was a white Christmas with snow so I had to leave my flip flops at home. Spending time with family is always such a delight but this trip was extra special. Santa gifted our nieces a puppy under the tree and we had the pleasure of witnessing this magic moment. Rosco is the sweetest puppy. I look forward to watching him grow up with the girls. We had such a relaxing trip full of laughter. It was hard to say goodbye to the girls and the puppy. Knowing we will be seeing them again in February for a family reunion softened the blow.

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Cheers to the New Year and all the excitement a fresh slate brings. This year is going to bring so many amazing things and I am ready for all of it. I hope you are finding happiness in your life. Thank you for taking the time to read.

xoxo Vogel

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Contagious Happiness

22 Dec

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I am at work on a Sunday blogging.  The reason I am at work is because my laptop decided to stop working on Friday.  I am sitting here soaking wet because I just left a hot yoga class and I stupidly did not pack a change of clothes.  Luckily I have a snuggie to wrap myself in.  Yes, you read that correctly, I am wearing a snuggie in my office.  That’s how this gal rolls.  My work computer is super nice and I can write much faster on it so I don’t really mind.  I have been feeling the pull to write, so here I am, typing away.

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I feel it is only appropriate to begin this blog by touching on the “Rae” of sunshine that is Mallory Rae Dies (I also want to mention that Mallory’s last name is pronounced “Des”).  It’s been 11 days since she left the world too soon.  The love and support that has continued to surround her memory is beyond impressive.  I found the hardest time for me after my best friend passed was once things calmed down after her memorial service.  I struggled during that time.

I have been following all updates via the Mallory Rae Support Page.  Her fundraiser that was thrown together in just 48 hours was a HUGE success.  The celebration of her life held at Shoreline Park looked like it more than did her memory justice.  From the pictures I saw via Instagram, Mallory put on quite a show as the moon rose and the sun set (photo credit to fern_golie on Instagram; search #4MAL if you’d like to see the magic yourself).

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Her fundly donations have slowed down a bit.  If you have $10 to spare please please PLEASE help her family ease the stress of her medical bills.  You can donate by clicking here.  $10 is the smallest amount you can donate via fundly (it defaults to $20 but you can change it to $10).  If you skip fancy coffee for two days, BOOM you have a donation.  Easy peasy.  I saw a Facebook post that said, “your donation is Mallory’s Christmas gift to her family”.  If you can help, I know it will be beyond appreciated.

I read an article last night that warmed my heart.  A foundation is being formed in Mallory’s name so this senseless tragedy serves a positive greater purpose.  Mallory’s Father has asked everyone to honor Mallory’s memory by never driving under the influence and also by becoming an organ donor.  Five people received the gift of life when Mallory passed.  She has given families a second chance at life right before Christmas.  I can’t think of a better gift even if it does come at such a high cost.  Check the box.  You can make a difference for many should you ever be in the same unfortunate position.

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Mallory’s blogs have had a powerful reach.  They were read 62,822 times.  They were read in the following 112 countries (many of which I had never heard of):

United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, France, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium, Argentina, Austria, South Africa, Chile, Denmark, Colombia, Peru, Finland, India, Poland, Costa Rica, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Philippines, Barbados, Turkey, Ecuador, Nepal, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Russian Federation, Guatemala, Qatar, Hungary, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Croatia, Ukraine, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Turks and Caicos Islands, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Albania, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Macedonia, Cayman Islands, Nicaragua, Portugal, Latvia, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Senegal, Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Northern Mariana Islands, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Slovenia, Bahamas, Swaziland, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Guernsey, Palestinian Territory, Serbia, Zambia, Myanmar, Belize, Iraq, Saint Martin, Malawi, China, Ethiopia, Malta, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Jordan, Cyprus, Bahrain, Grenada, Greece, Rwanda, Belarus, Romania, Zimbabwe, AND Honduras.

As Mallory’s foundation is being formed if there is any way you’d like to get involved I’m sure its founders in Santa Barbara would appreciate any support they can get.  While I’m sure much of their support will begin in the local Santa Barbara community, an opportunity to expand their reach would most likely be welcomed.  If you work in the bar or restaurant industry get your wheels spinning.  I have already heard positive support from a dear friend in the Bay Area that is a bar manager.  Is there something you could do to help keep people from drinking and driving?  I know there are industry people here in San Diego that are sharing Mallory’s story.  Taking the pledge #4MAL is the first and most important step; spreading the word is the next.

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I had the thought that it seemed weird to go about my typical blog format which is essentially a run down on my day to day life.  This rather eloquent post on Facebook that my friend was tagged in made me realize the best way you can honor those you love that leave too soon is to continue to find happiness even when your heart is so sad:

“The last thing in the world Mallory Dies would want is people sitting around feeling sorry for her, yourselves, or anyone else.” ~ Jeremiah Shields

So, live your life.  Be happy.  Laugh.  That is the best way you can honor the memory of someone so unbelievable special.  Whether its Mallory Rae or Sarah Faye, I will honor their BEAUTIFUL souls every day.

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The rest of this blog will be about my life.  I wanted to take a moment to honor sweet Mallory once more before I dove back into my Happiness Project.

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The Thanksgiving holiday proved to be a challenge with blogging for me.  In the whirlwind of family fun that over took my day to day activities I did not have time to write a November recap blog.  So, this blog has a lot of ground to cover.  I am going to skip going into too much detail because as I said earlier, I am at work and its SUNDAY so I want to go the flip home, homie.

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My 8 year anniversary with mi novio was AWESOME.  I was told by a few that my lack of social media-ing during our date night shocked them.  Hartman often complains that he is rarely on a date alone with me because my nose is always going apps on apps on apps via my beloved iPhone.  I made a point to leave my iPhone in my purse to his shock and dismay.  We had a FABULOUS time out and I have decided I am going to put him in full complete charge of our dates moving forward.  He knocked it out of the park.  It’s always good to take a step back and look at the past 8 years of our life together.  It has certainly been quite a wild ride.  I wouldn’t have it any other way though.  My journal quote could not have been more perfect as I slinked into bed at the end of my day on November 1st.  Cheers to 8 years and what’s next to come.

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Life has been busy busy busy with a multitude of fun activities on my social calendar.  I had the privilege of enjoying a private VIP outing at Petco Park (shhhhhhhh, don’t tell them I’m all about the GIGANTES), girls night, happy hour, paint nite, High Tide Breakfast at the Marine Room, a lovely walk on the beach, dog sitting Sir Charles The True Gentleman Dog, AND reconnecting with friends who were away (welcome back, Roeys).  It truly has been such a wonderful couple of months.  I am so grateful to have such an amazing cast of characters in my life.  Enjoy the pictures of all the fun…

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Thanksgiving was spent with Hartman’s fam bam and we had a FAB time.  We started the week with his Brother’s family making the long journey from Tahoe to San Diego.  They stayed with us for a few days and we were sure to pack in lots of fun San Diego adventures with our precious nieces, Sienna and Riley.  It was rather entertaining watching big sister Sienna pick on her little sister, Riley.  With Hartman and I both being the youngest in our families we both remember having the crap beat out of us constantly by our older siblings.  After some San Diego fun we all headed to Mike’s parents in Northern California and we ate until we were about to burst.   We capped off the week with a trip to Lake Tahoe.  It was fantastic spending so much time with our nieces over an entire week.  Being an Auntie is one of my favorite roles and Uncle “Mito” is the most fun Uncle EVER.  He is a human jungle gym.

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I love Christmas and I look forward to December every year.  Decorating our home, listening to Christmas music, buying gifts…I love it all!  We live steps from Balboa Park.  Every year they host an epic Christmas festival called December Nights in Balboa Park.  As usual, it did not disappoint.

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gap intelligence threw their 10th Annual #gappyHoliday party at the Diamond View Tower in East Village this month.  I won the Ambassador of the year and was gifted a bat autographed by Mark Loretta from the Padres (I thought it said Matt Latos at first and was relieved when it was confirmed it was not from him).  I was honored to be recognized by my colleagues and the party was flippin’ sic as expected.  I danced like I was auditioning for the Jabbawockeez.

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All of my nearest and dearest gathered in Orange County for an early Christmas celebration last weekend since most of us are traveling over the holiday this year.  As always, the Hales know how to host.  We had a lovely time and somehow stayed up till 3am chatting away (a very rare thing these days for us 30 somethings).

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I spent a few hours last week volunteering with the Emilio Nares Foundation at Rady Children’s Hospital handing out Christmas gifts.  gap’s CEO was Santa for the day.  It enriches my soul when I help other people.  It felt good giving back in some small way to people so deserving of some holiday cheer.

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The sunsets in California have been spectacular lately.  I have taken time to watch them at a park that is near my house.  I have even pulled off the freeway to snap a pic.  The different colors painted across the sky this time of year are so pretty it hurts to look at them.  Gorgeous sunset = instant happiness.

I’m looking forward to hugging my family a little harder this Christmas.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday and do the same.

Finding happiness in life is the most important thing you do and guess what, it’s contagious.   Thank you for reading.  Stay happy.

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